Merial announced Sunday the Court-ordered seizure of Velcera’s PetArmor™ Plus products inventory in the U.S. beginning August 21, 2011. The recall is due to patent infringement and not a safety issue.
On June 21, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia ruled that Merial’s U.S. patent covering FRONTLINE Plus® is valid and that the PetArmor™ Plus products infringe the patent.
In its June 21 Order, the District Court also held Velcera Inc., the makers and marketers of PetArmor™ Plus, in contempt of a previous injunction that prohibited the selling or importation of Cipla-manufactured products that infringed Merial’s patent. As part of its ruling, the district court enjoined Cipla and Velcera from further selling PetArmor™ Plus in the United States. The District Court also ordered the seizure of any existing inventory of PetArmor™ Plus in the United States. The District Court, however, stayed its Order until August 20, 2011 to permit Velcera and Cipla the opportunity to seek an expedited appeal.
“We are pleased with the Courts’ decisions, and we expect, in light of those rulings, that Cipla, Velcera, and Fidopharm will take all necessary steps to promptly seize any existing inventory in the United States of the infringing PetArmor™ Plus products and deliver them to Merial,” said Merial’s Global Head of Intellectual Property, Dr. Judy Jarecki-Black, Esq.
Merial’s Executive Chairman, José Barella, added, “Merial has invested considerable time and resources developing its flagship FRONTLINE Plus® products. Merial is committed to continuing its support of the veterinary profession and will continue to vigorously enforce its patents covering FRONTLINE Plus® products.”